Council advises youths ahead of August 17 demo

By Andrew Nyayah, NyasaTimes

The National Youth Council of Malawi (NYCOM) says it can facilitate constructive engagement between youths and President Bingu wa Mutharika in case of any pressing issues and concerns as other quarters are contemplating to get to the streets this month.

“Our President has invited us time and again to make a call on him should we have concerns on any areas we would like to discuss with him and we are, therefore asking you… to set the agenda and we shall facilitate the meeting”, said the Council’s Executive Director Aubrey Chibwana.

Chibwana said this in belated condolence message flighted in local print media to all the families that lost their loved ones on the July 20th demonstrations and the youth of Malawi in general.

Chibwana: Youth should not engage in violence

Trigger happy Police Officers fired live ammunition on unarmed demonstrators in the cities of Mzuzu, Lilongwe and Blantyre killing 19 people most of them youths.

But Malawi Police Service Public Relations Officer Willie Mwaluka in a statement last week backed the use of force by Police saying it is enshrined in the Police Act.

Sounding unremorseful, Mwaluka said section 105 of the Police Act Cap13:01 gives powers to Police to sue force, which include the use of Firearms with live ammunition.

Mwaluka described the degree of force Police used on July 20th… as necessary for the restoration of law and order.

Meanwhile some junior cops have been heard openly in Mzuzu saying that they will not hesitate to kill on 17th August saying “I have not killed a person since pass out I will make sure I do” one is quoted as telling a colleague.

However, the Youth Council is pleading with all young people to consider not to be  used or engaged in any violence.

“As young people we have a responsibility to sustain the economic gains we have achieved over time. Our resolve is to encourage openness and seek compassion from our leaders, so that they should be seen to be listening,” Chibwana said.

The council said the youth of Malawi are obliged to preserve law and order, maintain peace and stability and guard these jealously.

“While we encourage youths to enjoy their constitutional rights including participating in peaceful demonstrations, we also want to underline the responsibility that goes with the right to demonstrate,” Chibwana said.


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